The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulations stemming from Section 1502 of the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act requires that companies publicly traded in the U.S. disclose the use of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold in their products and describe the process used to ensure that the purchase of these minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries in the Great Lakes Region (GLR) of Central Africa does not fund the illegal armed groups.
Leaders in industry, government, and civil society are working to ensure and support conflict free supply chains, while promoting the sourcing of responsible minerals from the GLR and the continent of Africa. While many industries could operate without GLR sources, millions of people in the DRC who depend on artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) for income could suffer from a de facto embargo on DRC minerals. This perception could also negatively affect the efforts of companies developing large-scale mining (LSM) operations in the region. Mining, including from LSM operations, are likely to be important for economic development in the region.
Given this challenge it is important to establish the following:
- a recognized standard and method for verification of conflict free in-region sources (both ASM and LSM);
- supply chain assurance systems along with programs that incentivize and support capacity building to enable the participation of in-region miners, particular for ASM; and
- pilot testing to support participation of in-region sources and share successes
Closed-pipe pilots for tin and tantalum, to show that supplying minerals from local miners is possible, and can be tracked through the supply chain, are showing positive results. With growing capacity in place for supply chain assurance at the level of the refiner and smelter, there is an interest in working together to pilot test solutions for gold including:
- categorizing and differentiating sources
- tracking gold form pilot sites through to refiners
- in-region systems development
- transparency and reporting from the site to the refinery
- how to credit conflict free ASM sources at the point of refining
On August 8, RESOLVE convened a workshop to explore opportunities to incentivize conflict free gold sourcing from Central Africa.